Browse Exhibits (2 total)

City Green Spaces and Conservation


During the City Beautiful movement, the residents of Harrisburg, PA spent time and effort to bring their city out of industrial decay into the form of a pristine state capitol. In the course of the city's rebirth, a huge emphasis was placed on the physical beautification of the city through the creation and preservation of public spaces such as parks, play-grounds, and open land.  

Mira Lloyd Dock and J. Horace McFarland were the most prominent supporters of improved horticulture, actively promoting it in government associations like the Executive Committee of Harrisburg and teaching it abroad through the Pennsylvania Forestry Association. They wanted to ensure that cities all over hte state understood the importance of clean public space for the health and well-being of the population. Through government purchased land and many individual donations, the industrial landscape fo Harrisburg was transformed into one that pleased locals and welcomed visitors while expanding the city territory.

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The Campaigns for Improvement

City Beautiful would not have begun, nor would it have had its initial success had it not been for the campaigns for improvement. The first campaign that will be discussed in this section is the Mayoral Race of 1902 Harrisburg. In this, Democrat Vance McCormick was elected and eventually became the most influential mayor of Harrisburg. The second campaign discussed is the campaign for improvements throughout Harrisburg. Starting with the Municipal League of Harrisburg, this section will discuss the proposed improvements for the city made by the Municipal League, including a filtration system for the water supply to eliminate the threat of typhoid, and cleaning up the streets of Harrisburg. Finally, Harmony and Opposition will explore the newspaper battle within Harrisburg at this time. Newspapers, the Municipal League of Harrisburg, and Mayor Vance McCormick all fought for the future of Harrisburg, and the belief that the city could be made beautiful.

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